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Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.

Irma Voth

Irma Voth - Miriam Toews Set in a rural Mennonite community in contemporary Mexico, this latest book from Canadian author Miriam Toews is a poignant and dryly humorous coming of age story. I’ve enjoyed all of Miriam Toews novels and while this isn’t my favorite—that would be either The Flying Troutmans, which is funnier, or A Complicated Kindness, which deals more directly with the difficulties facing a teenage Mennonite—Irma Voth did keep me engaged enough that I read the entire book in 24 hours. Nineteen-year-old Irma Voth has been banished by her strict Mennonite father, but he’s refused to let her leave. Instead, she lives nearly alone in a small house on the family compound with no one allowed to visit or talk with her, though her mother and rebellious younger sister Aggie sneak over when they can. The crime that earned her father’s wrath was marrying a local Mexican man, but her husband is gone most of the time now, tending to what is probably drug-related business, so Irma is almost completely isolated. Salvation comes and her world opens up when a film crew making a movie about Mennonites rents the home Irma’s cousins used to live in. Irma is hired as a translator and cook which further infuriates her father, setting the story in motion and Irma on the path to independence. It’s independence with a lot of responsibilities since Irma won’t abandon her sisters. Like all of Miriam Toew’s novels, Irma Voth is quirky, compelling and beautifully written.